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take a punishing

1. To be thoroughly beaten or thrashed; to suffer rough treatment or abuse. My younger brother was always a shy, skinny kid who often took a punishing from schoolyard bullies. My feet have taken a punishing from hiking in these old sneakers.
2. To be soundly defeated or bested; to lose by a wide margin. Their team's inexperience showed on the pitch today, as they took a punishing from the powerful squad from New Zealand.
3. To suffer severe losses or setbacks. The stock market took a punishing over the weekend after fears of Greece's exit from the Eurozone. My efforts to get my PhD have taken a punishing over the last couple of years, but I'm still determined to see it through.
See also: punish, take

punish someone by something

to discipline someone by doing something. The headmaster punished the children by forcing them to go to bed early. She punished herself by not eating.
See also: punish

punish someone for something

to discipline someone for [doing] something. Someone will punish you for what you did. Please don't punish me for doing it. I'm sorry.
See also: punish

punish someone with something

to use something to discipline someone. The captain punished the sailor with the lash. Sally threatened to punish Timmy with a spanking.
See also: punish
References in periodicals archive ?
From the Nuremberg records and commentaries, it appears that it was widely presumed that if the punishability of the conduct was determined to satisfy the principle of legality then the penalties prescribed by the Charter were appropriate.
Moreover, its preoccupation with Erdemovic's acts going unpunished as the consequence of the nullum crimen principle, which is essentially a punishability issue, was extraneous to its inquiry on the appropriate sentence since, by this stage in the proceedings, the guilt of the accused, and thus the legality of punishing the act, had already been determined.
As applied to nullum crimen, these attributes address the punishability of a particular conduct.
Its tenet is that neither "natural evil" nor "traditional evil" should influence our judgment on punishability; instead, punishability should be determined by consensus or at least by the ability of those affected to consent.
According to it, punishability is not determined by social expediency, but by the consent of the people concerned.
Finally, for theorists who believe that results do not matter for blameworthiness and punishability, (14) responsibility rests upon the actor's choice.
I argued in my paper that freedom sufficient for punishability is not inconsistent with predictability.